The Government proposes an increase in the development budget to NOK 32.5 billion in 2015. This is an increase of more than NOK 1 billion compared to 2014. Education, humanitarian aid, health and vaccines, business development, climate measures and human rights are given priority. These are areas that are crucial for eradicating extreme poverty.
‘Our development policy is designed to promote economic development, democratisation, implementation of human rights, good governance and measures that can lift people out of poverty for good. In order to make Norway’s development policy more effective and targeted, the Government will concentrate Norwegian aid and improve its efficiency,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The Government proposes a NOK 550 million increase in allocations to education, bringing the total to nearly NOK 2.4 billion in 2015. The goal is to double funding for education by the end of 2017.
‘Education for all is a human right, and is essential for growth and development. Education is key to making good choices in life,’ said Mr Brende.
The Government is also increasing support for business development, not least through Norfund. Allocations for this area will be increased by NOK 290 million, to just over NOK 1.7 billion.
‘Trade and the private sector are essential for creating growth and lasting change in developing countries. Economic growth and free trade are the most effective way to achieve development,’ said Mr Brende.
Four large-scale humanitarian crisis
There will be a vast need for humanitarian aid for a long time to come.
‘For the first time in several decades, we are now experiencing four large-scale humanitarian crises (classified by the UN as level 3 crises): in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Syria and Iraq. The Government proposes to increase allocations for humanitarian and emergency aid by NOK 424 million, to just above NOK 3.3 billion,’ said Foreign Minister Brende.
Norway plays a leading role in global health efforts, and is intensifying its work in this area. Allocations for global health will be increased by NOK 150 million, to NOK 2.9 billion in 2015.
The Government proposes allocations of NOK 378.3 million for human rights efforts in 2015, which is an increase of NOK 30 million compared to 2014.
‘Human rights are under pressure in a number of countries. Not only are we seeing brutal attacks on civilians in Syria, Iraq and other conflict areas; we are also witnessing increasing breaches of the freedoms of expression, assembly and association and more discrimination against religious and sexual minorities in many countries,’ said Mr Brende.
In this budget, the Government maintains a high level of development assistance while setting clear priorities.
‘What matters most is what we can achieve with the money we allocate, that Norwegian development aid works and that we obtain concrete results,’ said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.